Making a Splash at Myrtle Beach

Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and we had a blast. We spent hours at Broadway on the Beach. First up was a trip through Ripley’s Aquarium. The new penguin exhibit was the first stop, and it turned out to be the highlight of the aquarium. I had no idea they could swim underwater as quickly as they did. They all had name tags and apparently know their names. The people beside us called one of the penguins by name, and he charged at the glass in front of them.

The viewing tunnel was amazing. The sharks were so close you could count their teeth.

Far less scary were all the colorful fish darting about the tank and the sea turtle who was just taking his time moving around.

After the aquarium, we were off to WonderWorks. We played with bubbles, tried our hand at trivia, and tried out the tornado simulator. We also enjoyed their 6D motion ride. A little shopping completed our time at Broadway on the Beach.

Our hotel was perfectly located on Ocean Boulevard at the Pavilion. The ocean beckoned from the balcony and out the front door of the hotel was a street lined with shopping, food and attractions, all within walking distance. We walked up and down Ocean Boulevard, stopping at several souvenir shops. We went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium, where there was no shortage of creepy exhibits. Next up was the Sky Wheel; the views from the top were amazing.

It was too cold to get in the water, but we did go down to the beach and walked in the sand. It was great to listen to the waves crash from the balcony.

All in all, it was a fun trip, and I am glad I got to see Myrtle Beach for myself.

Tracking down history, one dirt road at a time

I enjoy discovering new places and seeing new things, whether across the country or in my own ‘back yard’.  Recently, I set out to find some historic churches in my area.  After mapping out some locations, my journey began.

I had to travel down dirt/sand roads, but the churches were worth the effort.

I found the Chapel at Burnt Fort in Camden County, where I live.  It was restored several years ago.

Burnt Fort Two



Several miles away, in Brantley County, Georgia, I got to see two Primitive churches:


Pilgrims’ Rest Baptist

Pilgrim's Rest


and High Bluff Baptist

high bluff

For the full article about my journey, check it out here.

History restored in Burnt Fort

Just off a lazy two lane road, at the end of an unpaved sandy path, you’ll find a tucked-away treasure.

Burnt Fort Two

The Chapel at Burnt Fort, Georgia, was originally built in the late 1800s.  It was used until the mid 1940s, when low attendance forced the doors closed.  The building collapsed in the 1960s, but a decade later,  local residents (including some descendants of the original settlers of the area) restored the church to its former glory.  The property also houses the only one-room school house left in Camden County, Georgia

Burnt Fort

There is also a cemetery, with marked graves dating back to the 1850s, and numerous unmarked graves as well.

burnt fort threeThis beautiful chapel is definitely off the beaten path, but completely worth the drive.  I love visiting new places and finding unexpected surprises, so it was a great day.  If you’re ever in beautiful southeast Georgia, be sure to see it for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.



Georgia Paradise

I spent some time on St Simons Island, Georgia today.  I love “the island” and plan to return again soon.  In addition to numerous shops and restaurants, there is beautiful ocean-front park featuring a lighthouse.

st simons 6

There are several miles of shoreline, including both rocky and sandy beaches.

st simons 4

There are so many ways to create a perfect day on the island:  bicycling, strolling along the sidewalks enjoying the shopping and dining options, fishing off the pier, or just relaxing on a bench taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean.

st simons 1

St Simons Island is a peaceful oasis offering something for everyone.  

Branson’s most unique store

Branson, Missouri has no shortage of one-of-a-kind stores and attractions, but one stands out from the rest:  Dick’s 5 and 10.  I got to spend some time looking around, and was amazed by their inventory.  They had lots of things I needed, and a bunch more that I didn’t know I needed until I saw them.

Be sure and check them out when you’re in Branson.  To read more about the store, click here.

5 and dime 15 and dime 2

Daytona Beach: Birthplace of Speed

In Daytona Beach, the roar of the beach is rivaled by the roar of the engines.  Daytona International Speedway is home to numerous races each year, including NASCAR’s Coke 400 and Daytona 500.  In front of the building is the “Walk of Fame” which honors those NASCAR drivers who have won at the 500.


You can see tributes to racing legends, such as Dale Earnhardt Sr.


When there is no event, the speedway offers a track tour.  It’s amazing to see first-hand the steepness of the track’s banks; seeing it on television doesn’t do it justice.  If you listen close enough, you can almost hear the most famous words in motor sports:  “Gentlemen, start your engines”, and the second most famous words:  “Boogity, boogity, boogity:  let’s go racing boys”.


Another highlight of the tour is a tour of a garage area:


After the track tour, you get to watch a short film highlighting racing heroes.  As you are leaving, you get to see the car that won the previous Daytona 500, which was Dale Jr. when we were there.


It’s a great experience;  if you want more information, click here.

Relaxing at Bahama House

We stayed at the Bahama House in Daytona Beach Shores during a recent trip to the area, and it was an amazing experience.  The front desk employees were cheerful and pleasant, which set the tone for the rest of our stay.  We stayed on the seventh floor in a corner room.  We had views of the ocean from our breakfast table…..


as well as from our balcony.


The beautifully appointed room included a kitchen area, complete with a toaster.


For those who don’t want to cook while on vacation, the hotel offers a free breakfast each morning.  In addition, there is a nightly complimentary cocktail hour.

The Bahama House is a great place to stay while in Daytona Beach Shores.  The rooms are clean, the staff is helpful, and the views can’t be beat.

Sun Viking Lodge Daytona Beach

I was fortunate enough to spend two nights at the Sun Viking Lodge in beautiful (and quiet) Daytona Beach Shores.  I can’t say enough great things about the family-friendly accommodations.  The staff was super-welcoming and set a great tone for our stay.

The room was immaculate and the view of the Atlantic from our eighth-floor balcony was spectacular.



The room had two ultra-comfy beds…….


and a fully-stocked kitchen that had everything you needed to cook a quick meal.


Sun Viking features both an indoor pool, complete with a rock formation waterfall, and an outdoor pool (which has a water slide).

sun viking 4

In addition, it offers a hot tub, a kiddie pool, a fitness center, and a beachfront picnic/bbq area.

The most pleasant surprise of all was the list of activities that Sun Viking sponsored.  They had things for all ages:  bingo, shuffleboard, poolside games, Wii competitions, a basketball goal, and beach volleyball.  The staff even popped popcorn and screened a movie against the side of one of their buildings.

I highly recommend the Sun Viking Lodge for anyone seeking family-centered lodging.  Several guests I met during my stay had been coming to Sun Viking for years; I know I will be back every chance I get.  Before your next Daytona vacation, make sure to check out Sun Viking Lodge.